Thursday, April 13, 2017

On-the-job Learning

There's a pretty simple answer, I think, to why President Trump has made reversals on a handful of major policy stances since taking office--he's learning things. When he decides, for example, that NATO is not obsolete, this could simply mean he has just found out exactly what they do--although it appears he is still under the impression they just started fighting terrorism recently.

But take this exchange he had with China's President Xi Jinping:

President Donald Trump recounted an absolutely astounding detail about one of his conversations with Chinese President Xi Jinping in comments published by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday afternoon. Apparently, Trump came into his first meeting with the Chinese leader, in early April, convinced that China could simply eliminate the threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear program. Xi then patiently explained Chinese-Korean history to Trump — who then promptly changed his mind.

“After listening for 10 minutes, I realized it’s not so easy,” the president told the Journal. “I felt pretty strongly that they had a tremendous power [over] North Korea. ... But it’s not what you would think.”

(Bold print my idea.) Sure, many of us might have realized that. But maybe the guy who said with a straight face "Nobody knew healthcare could be so complicated", for example, has a certain lack of knowledge about the lay of the land.

I do like to believe he is learning--I just wonder how much ground can be covered and just how long we have before a bad mistake is made.

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